Templates and Boilerplate Language
Situations that involve "boilerplate" (see definition 2, here) language:
- You may be given a template (form, format, list of headings, chart of accounts, etc.) to use in preparing a submission. If this language is provided by the eventual recipient of your product or follows a formula instructed, then unless explicitly told otherwise, you should not consider this language quotation. If you are using a template supplied by any other source, you must adequately document this source with an appropriate citation.
- You may find language that is in common use with respect to whatever topic you are discussing. This can involve extended phrases that may appear trite in comparison with the topic you are discussing, yet it may be hard to avoid using the language because it succinctly captures the information you are trying to communicate. Although the language seems trite, it is not yours. You must adequately document the source of this language using quotation and citations. (At the option of your recipient - a professor - you may be asked to document the source using citation, but not extended quotation. As a partial test as to whether the language is truly "boilerplate," you should try to find the same words used in the same order in multiple other sources. However, the presence of multiple sources, by itself, is not a guarantee that the text does not require quotation; to be excluded as "boilerplate" it must also be genuinely trite - linked mostly to the structure of the sentence, not is essential content.)
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